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 Bratty v A-G for NI [1963] AC 386 House of Lords

The appellant strangled and killed a young woman whilst giving her a lift. He then dumped her body on the side of the road and drove home. The appellant was a friend of the family of the deceased and had often visited their home and given her lifts. The appellant suffered from psychomotor epilepsy and stated that at the time of the killing a terrible feeling came over him and he was not conscious of his actions. He wished to raise the defence of automatism but the trial judge refused to allow this to be put before the jury and directed the jury with regards to insanity. The jury rejected the insanity defence and convicted him of murder. The appellant appealed contending the judge was wrong not to allow the defence of automatism.


Appeal dismissed. The trial judge was correct in directing the jury as to insanity.
Back to lecture outline on the law of insanity in criminal liability